In a nutshell
‘O’ is the fourth most commonly used letter in English. In addition to the basic ‘o’ sound in ‘hot’, there are a number of other common sounds that ‘o’ makes, including the long ‘o’ in ‘bone’, the double ‘o’ sound in ‘food’ and the double ‘o’ sound in ‘good’ and the ‘oi’ sound in ‘coin’.
A song for ‘o’ words
This is a catchy, quirky song that features many different words all beginning with ‘o':
Look into my eyes!
A neat way to introduce kids to the double ‘o’ sound is to write the word ‘look’ on a big piece of paper and then draw eyelashes and pupils on each of the ‘o’s. If you stick this on your wall you will have a fun, silly reminder for your child of the meaning of the word and of one of the sounds that double ‘o’ makes.
And here is a song featuring the ‘oo’ sound in ‘look’ that your kids will love:
Making the long ‘o’ sound naturally
If English is not your child’s native language they may have a little bit of trouble in making the long ‘o’ sound – the sound heard in words like ‘coat’ and ‘home’. This video shows exactly how English speakers form the sound:
‘I Spy’ words
‘I spy with my little eye, something beginning with…’ is a great game to play to reinforce the sound that a letter makes and it can be a fun game to kill some time – for example on a long car trip.
Here is a selection of short words starting with ‘o’ for you to use:
oar, oak, oil, owl, oven, oval, octopus, oats, ocean, organ, onion, orange, office, olive
The Letter O Worksheets
This letter o worksheet gives your child lots of opportunities to practice writing capital O.
This letter o worksheet focuses on the lower case letter o.
This worksheet gives your child an introduction to the sound that ‘o’ makes, and also allows them to practice writing the capital and lower case letter o.
This sheet introduces your child to the ‘oi’ sound – which is heard in words such as ‘boil’, ‘coin’ and ‘voice’.
The ‘oo’ sound is encountered quite regularly in English – here are six words for your child to practice with; four with the ‘oo’ sound and two with the ‘o’ sound.
This worksheet shows your child the effect of a consonant and an ‘e’ after an ‘o’ – it causes the ‘o’ to have a long sound. For example, note the difference the addition of ‘e’ has in the words ‘hop’ and ‘hope’.
This worksheet introduces your child to a different way in which the long ‘o’ sound can be produced – when it is paired with the letter ‘a’, for example in ‘road’ and ‘boat’.